2011 Great American Beer Festival Post Event Sustainability Report
By Bryan Birch, ZeroHero We are thrilled to announce the most successful zero-waste program in GABF history. A 20% increase from 2010 to 2011 to an astonishing 79% of material recycled or composted lit up the folks at the Brewers Association, ZeroHero and the Colorado Convention Center! This far exceeded our goal of 70%.
That amount of waste KEPT-OUT of the landfill depends on many factors. The size and scope of the event, vendor participation, attendee awareness of programs, awesome volunteers, recycling and compost haulers, commercial recycling and composting facilities contribute to the final number. However, nothing gets done unless we share to a unified vision to make positive change happen. The waste diversion percentage is the amount of material sent to our recycling and compost facilities. By tracking the GABF’s waste diversion of 50%, 59% and 79% over three consecutive years we see that effort and practice over-time yield results. EFFORT and TIME are an undeniable factors in successful zero-waste programs.
What we did differently in 2011:
- Green Team picked up recyclables Tuesday morning through Thursday during set up
- Green Team picked up recyclables on Sunday during tear down of the event
- New recycling program for film plastics such as pallet wrap and ice bags
- Increased our Green Team volunteers numbers (Thanks to all volunteers!)
- Event purchased recyclable signage
- Improved product sourcing by the Colorado Convention Center and its partners
Waste Diversion for 2011 GABF
Trash, compactor #42, Waste Management: 4.18 tons on 10/3 Recycle, compactor #33, Waste Management: 3.57 tons on 9/30, and 4.93 tons on 10/3 Recycle, compactor #9, Waste Management: 6.55 tons on 10/3 (was 20% full when began dumping) = 5.24 tons Plastic Film Recycle, Alpine Waste and Recycling: .61 tons on 10/4 Compost, Alpine Waste and Recycling: .9 tons plus on 10/4 and 302 lbs (CCC compost compactor on 10/3) = 1.05 tons
Total Material (including waste) = 19.58 tons Total Material Diverted from the Landfill though Recycling and Composting = 15.4 tons
2011 GABF Diversion Rate = 78.7%
A Passion Towards a Low Impact Great American Beer Festival
Each year the GABF makes every attempt to lessen its impact through innovative sustainability programs. 2012 will mark the fifth year of sustainability initiatives. We continue to realize strategies that lower the environmental impact though waste reduction, resource recovery, energy use and education. Our partnerships with ZeroHero, Colorado Convention Center, Centerplate Catering, Governors Energy Office, and the Colorado Carbon Fund, we aim to continue efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. Program components include:
The standard for a zero-waste event is 85% of the waste diverted away from the landfill. In 2011 we diverted 79% of the event waste away from the landfill. Learning from last year and with program improvements in 2012, our goal is to divert 80% of waste at the 2012 GABF.
- In 2011, we offset 33.70 metric tons of CO2 emissions through partnership with Colorado Carbon Fund and the Climate Trust. We continue with this partnership in 2012.
- Disposable items at GABF will be recyclable or compostable. We will again use compostable water cups, plates and utensils. As always, your beer glass is reusable, and we hope you will use it for many years to come.
- YOU, the attendee can help “green” the GABF. Please help us by putting ‘waste in its place’ and visiting the ZeroHero tents located throughout the festival to recycle or compost your waste. A friendly volunteer will greet you to help determine what goes where.
- In order to reduce waste, we encourage you to reuse your GABF beer glass in between tastings at one of the many water stations located throughout the festival. If you have to use one of the cups provided at the water station, make sure it ends up in the compost when you are finished.
- All glass and plastic bottles, cans, paper and cardboard will be recycled.
- Comprehensive pre and post festival recycling program
- The use of styrofoam at food outlets in the event has been banned.
- Bulk condiments will be used at concession areas.
- All compost will be processed by A1 Organics located in Platteville, CO. This is a permitted commercial composting facility and will mix GABF compost with other food waste, animal waste, yard waste and wood chips. Within 90 days this compost will become a rich soil amendment.
- GABF will be part of the Green Meetings Industry Council’s goal to divert one million tons of trash from the landfill.
A Reduced Carbon Footprint
- Offset your carbon to and from the festival by calculating your footprint with the Denver Event CO2e Emissions Calculation Tool and offsetting your carbon through the Colorado Carbon Fund.
- GABF has offset our carbon footprint through the Colorado Carbon Fund. Donations help fund carbon mitigation and community benefit projects right here in Colorado.
- Hybrid taxis will be available after each session as part of the GABF move toward sustainability.
- House lights will be kept at 50% during the show.
People, Planet, Passion
The word “sustainability” made its way from the margins to the mainstream sometime around Al Gore’s laser pointed Oscar Winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Several years earlier forward thinking businesses began to explore “greener” ways of running a company. Accordingly, the triple bottom line, one of the first measures of what sustainability stood for floated around water coolers and became a guideline for the new movement. The triple bottom line, also known as people, planet and profits describes a balanced boardroom where environmental, social considerations, and solid economics survive under one roof.
We asked a few of breweries why they’ve taken up the cause of sustainability. Thanks to Katie Wallace, New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, Colorado, Liz Melby, Harpoon Brewery, Boston, Massachusetts and Chris Cochran,Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, California for their contribution.